Roman Catholic Church

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Amid Easter Joy, Pope Laments 'Blind, Brutal Terrorism'

Francis mingles with crowds at Vatican, despite threats

(Newser) - Pope Francis tempered his Easter Sunday message of Christian hope with a denunciation of "blind" terrorism, recalling victims of attacks in Europe, Africa, and elsewhere, as well as expressing dismay that people fleeing war or poverty are being denied welcome as European countries squabble over the refugee crisis. Tens... More »

Mother Teresa Will Be a Saint

Pope Francis announces her canonization will be held on Sept. 4

(Newser) - It's official: Mother Teresa will be made a saint of the Catholic Church at a ceremony on Sept. 4, reports Reuters . Pope Francis, who signed off on the missionary's second miracle in December, announced the move at a meeting of cardinals on Tuesday. Teresa died in 1997 at... More »

Vatican to Catholics: Stop Trying to Convert Jews

Help them fight anti-Semitism instead: new report

(Newser) - The Vatican is taking steps toward fixing its long-troubled history with the Jewish faith with the Thursday release of a 10,000-word document that instructs Catholics to help Jews fight anti-Semitism instead of trying to convert them, Reuters reports. The Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews explained that Catholicism... More »

Pope: Priests Can Forgive Women Who've Had Abortions

Francis grants absolution power during Holy Year for 'painful decision'

(Newser) - Abortion is one of the sins that mandates automatic excommunication in the Roman Catholic Church, but for the Holy Year of Mercy that begins Dec. 8, Pope Francis says priests can, at their discretion, absolve women for terminating pregnancies, Reuters reports. "Many … believe that they have no other... More »

Christian ISIS Captive Dies a Muslim— Now What?

Photojournalist James Foley apparently converted during captivity

(Newser) - Many Roman Catholics saw journalist James Foley—who was kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded by ISIS —as a symbol of enduring faith under horrible circumstances. Then it came out that he had converted to Islam in captivity. Now what? "The answer is we can’t assess it," says... More »

Vatican Probes Own Child-Porn Cases

(Newser) - The Vatican investigated two cases of child pornography possession in the past year, officials said yesterday. The chief prosecutor of the Vatican city state's criminal tribunal, Gian Piero Milano, cited the two cases in a speech summarizing the tribunal's work in 2014. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico... More »

Pope Francis: Big Families Are Good

Softens his comment that Catholics needn't breed 'like rabbits'

(Newser) - Pope Francis praised big families today as a gift from God, after his comments that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" made headlines this week. Francis said numerous children don't cause poverty in the developing world, as some have suggested, and that the real cause of... More »

Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI

Says 'God is not afraid of new things'

(Newser) - Pope Francis today beatified Pope Paul VI, concluding the remarkable meeting of bishops debating family issues that drew parallels to the tumultuous reforms of the Second Vatican Council which Paul oversaw and implemented. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI was on hand for the Mass. The bishops failed to reach consensus on... More »

Vatican Warming Toward Gay and Divorced Catholics

Synod urges Church to appreciate 'positive aspects of civil unions,' 'gifts' of gay Catholics

(Newser) - The Vatican, in the latest sign that this is not your daddy's Catholic Church , appears to be opening its arms to gay and divorced Catholics, urging its priests to make "courageous pastoral choices" that are inclusive to a bevy of family models outside the traditional one. The shift... More »

Miracle Credited to Pope Paul VI

He's set for beatification in October

(Newser) - No Pope Left Behind? Francis is rapidly shuffling his predecessors toward sainthood, yesterday attributing a miracle to Pope Paul VI in a move that puts him on the path to canonization—just after last month's canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII . Paul, who was elected in 1963... More »

2 Living Popes Canonize 2 Predecessors

John Paul II and John XXIII canonized in historic ceremony at Vatican

(Newser) - It's a four-pope day at the Vatican, as two living popes gathered for the first time to canonize two of their predecessors: Pope Francis presided today over what the AP notes is really a pretty brief ceremony that confirmed the sainthood of John Paul II and John XXIII. Appearing... More »

Vatican Gets First Overhaul in 25 Years

Move brings lay experts into the world of the Vatican's finances

(Newser) - Pope Francis today announced the first major shake-up in 25 years to what the AP terms the Vatican's "outdated and inefficient bureaucracy," in a move designed to bring outside experts into the murky world of Vatican finances. Reuters reports that Francis used a Motu Proprio—a document... More »

Pope: No More 'Monsignor' for Most Priests

Francis aims to further simplify honorifics

(Newser) - Pope Francis has done away with the honorific title "monsignor" for all but a few priests, further evidence of his desire for priests to be simple, humble servants. The Vatican's secretary of state sent a letter to its embassies asking them to inform bishops' conferences of the change.... More »

Pope Francis Crashes Posh Rome District

Reminds of 'cries of poor' as Christmas shopping season kicks off

(Newser) - Pope Francis, in the heart of Rome's fanciest shopping district, has prayed that the poor are never forgotten. His appearance today at the foot of the Spanish Steps follows a papal tradition of public prayer before a statue representing Mary on Dec. 8, a church holiday honoring the mother... More »

Bishop in Trouble for $42M House

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst dubbed 'Luxury Bishop'

(Newser) - A German bishop has been called to the principal's office after his exorbitant spending. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst—or the "Luxury Bishop" as the BBC calls him—is under fire for spending $42 million on his house and then lying about it. Some have called for him to resign.... More »

Pope: Church Should Accept Gays 'With Respect'

Says Vatican has been 'small-minded,' can't be 'obsessed'

(Newser) - More unexpected comments about homosexuality from Pope Francis: In a new interview with a Jesuit journal, he says the church cannot "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, CNN reports. He's gotten letters from gays and lesbians who felt "socially wounded" by the church, "... More »

Follow Pope on Twitter, Get Time Off Purgatory Stay

Vatican offers 'indulgences' for social media use during Catholic World Youth Day

(Newser) - If you're a Catholic due to spend some time in purgatory before heading on up to heaven, we have good news for you: You can shorten the length of time you have to spend there just by following Pope Francis on Twitter , the Guardian reports. A papal court has... More »

So, What Was Pope John Paul II's 2nd Miracle?

Floribeth Mora says he healed her brain aneurysm

(Newser) - As promised, more details have been released on the second miracle that got Pope John Paul II cleared for sainthood . Floribeth Mora, a 50-year-old Costa Rican woman, told her story publicly for the first time today, tears in her eyes. She developed a brain aneurysm in 2011 and had no... More »

John Paul II Will Be a Saint

All that's left is the ceremony

(Newser) - Pope John Paul II has cleared the final obstacle before being made a saint, awaiting just the final approval from Pope Francis and a date for the ceremony that could come as soon as Dec. 8, a Vatican official and news reports said today. The ANSA news agency reported that... More »

Francis Celebrates 1st Easter

250K pack St. Peter's Square to hear pontiff's call for peace

(Newser) - Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter Sunday Mass as pontiff in St. Peter's Square, packed by joyous pilgrims, tourists, and Romans and bedecked by spring flowers. Wearing cream-colored vestments, Francis strode onto the esplanade in front of St. Peter's Basilica and took his place at an altar set... More »

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